MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
E-commerce’s share of overall retail sales rebounds to 15.1 percent in 1Q2023
E-commerce sales rose 3.0% from the previous quarter vs. 0.9% for all retail sales and rose 7.8% year-on-year vs. 3.4% for all retail sales. As a share of overall retail sales, online sales captured 15.1% in 1Q2023, up from 14.8% the previous quarter and 14.5% in 1Q2022. Whereas the pre-pandemic share had been gradually rising at the rate of about one percentage point per year, that spiked up from 11.1% in 2Q2019 and 11.9% in 1Q2020 to 16.4% in 2Q2020 as more people were asked to stay home. Since then, the share has ranged mostly from 14% to 15%.
New single-family home size trending lower
According to first quarter 2023 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area registered at 2,261 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes stood at 2,469 square feet. Since Great Recession lows (and on a one-year moving average basis), the average size of a new single-family home is now 4% higher at 2,486 square feet, while the median size is 7% higher at 2,262 square feet. After a brief increase during the post-covid building boom, home size is trending lower and will likely do so as housing affordability remains constrained.
Renters offered more concessions as market stabilizes
Renters are getting sweeter deals across the U.S. this spring, with far more Zillow rental listings featuring some sort of concession compared to last year. Now 27% of rentals on Zillow offer at least one concession – such as free months of rent or parking – to attract new tenants, compared to 21% at this time last year. They’re one way to entice new tenants to a property without lowering rent. Zillow’s rental market report shows 5.3% year-over-year growth in April, much closer to normal 3-5% annual growth than the peak of 16.9% in February 2022.